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February 4, 2009

最近美国这边好多公司裁员,大家都人心惶惶的。华人圈子里面简历流动的也特别快。我就遇到三件事情:

前面两件事情是跟我经常混的论坛有关的。开始是一个我一起灌水的同灌,我没有见过这个人,但是从她平时写的东西看,是很热心,也很风趣的一个人。她是台湾人,但是灌水用简体字,对大陆也很了解。有天她发信给我,问我能否帮助她女儿的中文老师的老公(三度连接了,六度连接的一半)递一份简历。

我就答应了,因为我觉得这么热心的一个人,她的朋友也不会差的。收到简历以后我看了看,觉得和我们公司的职位不是很符合,我就给申请人打了电话,建议他改一改,改好以后我就帮他投了。

第二件事情也是这个论坛上面的一个人,我也没有见过这个人,但是我知道这个人跟我的好几个朋友都认识。他也是要找工作,我看到他的帖子的时候,已经是三个小时以后的事情了。我就直接给他发信,问他是否需要到我们这里来。他回信说我们公司已经有华人跟他联系了。这个是两度连接。

最后一个匪夷所思的事情,是昨天发生的。我接到一个电话,对方是一位女士,讲中文的。声称是我的保险公司的人。如果是说英文的,我当时就会挂电话的,因为类似的欺诈电话太多了,我还打电话声称我是奥巴马呢。不过因为是说中文的,我就问了一句,说有什么事情吗?

对方说看到我的汽车保险,觉得额度太低,建议我多买点。我说我的保险经纪人推荐了你们公司,还帮我设计了这个额度,我相信她,就不改了吧。我正要说以后请让我的保险经纪人来跟我谈这类事情(毕竟我没跟保险公司直接联系,都是跟经纪人联系的),对方话锋一转,忽然说:我看你的资料,你是在XXX公司工作对吧?我有个朋友最近在找工作,能不能麻烦你给递个简历?

我当时愣了一下,不知道该说什么。对方知道我的电话,工作职位,应该也知道我老婆叫什么名字,我的家庭住址,我的工资范围,我开的什么车,我老婆开的什么车,我们的车牌是多少,所有这些东西,我都在买保险的时候如实填写了,她都知道。但是对于这个人,我只知道她说的一个英文名字。

不过我还是说,那让你那个朋友把简历发过来吧。她说:是不是就发到这个email地址啊?我心里一沉:她果然什么都知道。

到了傍晚,我要下班的时候,她又打电话过来,说是跟我确认一下是否收到了。这次她说:那个朋友其实是她老公。我也没心思听她千恩万谢,只是说:我问过了,这个职位可能已经有人了,我只能尽力而为。

挂了电话以后,我把收到的简历转给招人的经理,也没象我其他朋友那样,帮着说几句好话。经理回信问我这人如何,我说我就是当个好人,其实我也不认识他。

回头想了一下,我对前两个同灌,印象都不错,所以我对他们,或者他们的朋友,也都愿意帮助,但是我对这个论坛,倒是没有特别的感情,这个论坛上面的广告,我都直接交给Ad Block Plus去处理了,连误点的门儿都没有。

但是对于最后这件事情,我对我用的这家保险公司,有很大的意见。虽然我不会去打电话质问这家公司管理不严(那样的话那位女士的工作就没了),但是在我心里,这家公司就永远的和这次匪夷所思的事件联系起来了。

说到最后,这种作为人和人直接联系的媒介,论坛也好,保险公司也好(虽然保险公司是绝对不愿意当这个媒介的),在人和人之间有好的互动的时候,经常是被忽略的;而在人和人之间有冲突的时候,倒是经常的被当成埋怨的对象。

记得某个媒人说过,夫妻入洞房,媒人扔过墙。那万一人家吵架了呢?多半会把媒人从墙那边抓过来,痛打一顿。

January 23, 2009

温馨提示:本文评级为PG13,不满13岁的小朋友,请叫你们的父母来。

今天的话题源自我看到的这段文字:

在性学里有个专有名词叫“柯立芝效应”,它来自下面这则趣闻:有一天,美国的第30任总统柯立芝和夫人去参观某个养鸡场,夫人看到鸡棚里的公鸡在追逐母鸡,好奇问说:“公鸡一天@@XX几次?”鸡场主人回答:“好几十次。”夫人于是提高声音说:“不要忘了告诉总统这档事。”在不远处的柯立芝总统听到了,转而问鸡场主人:“公鸡每次都和同一只母鸡@@XX吗?” 鸡场主人回答:“不同的母鸡。”总统于是也提高声音说:“请你把这档事转告总统夫人。”

它虽然以“柯立芝”为名,其实是来自对老鼠的观察:若将一只公鼠和四五只发情的母鼠放在同一个笼子里,公鼠就会不停地和所有母鼠@X,直到精疲力尽;随后母鼠再怎么挑逗,它也不会有反应。但此时若将一只新的发情母鼠放进笼子里,公鼠就又会变得生龙活虎,一再和新母鼠@X,直到另一次的精疲力尽。

我在想,其实把母老鼠改成网站,公老鼠改成网虫也是一样,若将一个网虫和四五个新奇网站放在一根网线的两端,这个网虫会不停的跟所有网站登录,直到精疲力尽,随后网站再怎么挑逗,他也不会有反应。但此时若再出现一个新奇的网站,网虫又会变得生龙活虎,直到精疲力尽。

感谢keso找到的这篇“社交网站不是盈利商务”,在这篇文章里我发现其他人也持有类似我对SNS的看法:巨大流量和低下的转化率;注意力的方向;还有就是对SNS这种墙内花园模式的反叛

每次我在一个网站无聊的时间超过10分钟的时候,我的鼠标光标就会往地址栏移动了。对于围墙的反感我一直没有想清楚是为了什么,或许柯立芝效应是一个合理的解释:在一个网站呆久了,有点腻了。

哦对了,柯立芝效应还提到,对于第N+1个新欢,性趣消逝的比第N个新欢要快。或许,这也可以解释,我们现在更喜欢在网络上面搜索,而不是去仔细的阅读;我们更喜欢youtube的短片,而不是两个小时的电影;我们更喜欢twitter,而不是去读一篇博文。因为,在我们能消化完这些冗长的内容之前,我们的兴趣已经转移了,我们必须更快的找到那个让我们满足的东西。

December 14, 2008

Six Degrees of Separation says, everyone is not that far from a random stranger in the world, the shorted path from one person to some stranger only has 6 hops.

While this sounds quite exciting, esp. to those Social Network System owners, the “dark side” of this idea is quite depressing: The trust between friends decreases at a very fast pace as the number of hops increases. In other words, you don’t trust their friends as you trust your frinds.

The question is: How fast does this trust thingy decrease as number of hops increases?

Let’s define trust as the probability you believe what one person says. People’s trust to themselves is 100%, and people don’t give a damn of whatever a stranger says, that’s 0. So trust is a value between 1 and 0.

Now we got 2 data points: Hop, or Degree of Separation is 0 (self), Trust is 1; Degree of Separation is 6 (stranger), Trust is 0. How about a linear function like this:

Frankly speaking, it’s more depressing than this. Instead of being linear, I believe it’s decreasing exponentially. Since you’ve being trusting me and followed this far in this post, why not bear with me for a couple of more formulars?

Let’s say the average trust between people is μ.If your friend Andy told you 100 stories today ( This Andy dude is quite talkative ) then you only believe 100 * μ stories. Let’s say you then pass those 100 * μ stories on to your friend Betty, how many stories will Betty believe? Only 100 * μ² stories.

Then what is the value of μ? I don’t know, some people trust their friends more than others do, people trust some of their friends more than other friends. One average, it is safe to say μ is ½. The graph below also confirms ½ is a good number: If a stranger (Degree of Separation is 6) told you 100 stories, you may believe 1 or so. In the graph below, μ is ½, Trust drops to 1.56% when Degree of Separation is 6, that’s “1 stories or so”.

Note that Turst drops to around 10% when Degree of Separation is 3. Trust does not go very far.

仿照反摩尔定律,写一个反六度分隔理论。

关于“反摩尔定律”,这里抄谷歌黑板报上,吴军研究员给的定义

Google(谷歌)的 CEO 埃里克•施密特在一次采访中指出,如果你反过来看摩尔定理,一个 IT 公司如果今天和十八个月前卖掉同样多的、同样的产品,它的营业额就要降一半。IT 界把它称为反摩尔定理。

也就是说,作为IT硬件产业驱动力的摩尔定律,也有其残酷的一面。

六度分隔(Six degrees of separation)理论说,只需要很少的人(比如,6个),就可以联系起世界上的任何两个陌生人。

这个理论让社交网络的从业者们兴奋异常,但是,这个理论是否也有其阴暗的一面呢?

我们反过来看这个理论,假定一个人对自己的信任度为1,对陌生人的信任度接近0,那么我们可以拟合出一条曲线:随着分隔度数D的增长,信任T降低。我们知道两个数据点:在分隔度数为0的时候,也就是自己对自己的信任为1;在度数D是6的时候,信任度T接近0.

通俗的说:我们都信任自己,但是对于朋友的朋友的朋友的朋友的朋友的朋友,他谁啊他?

最简单的拟合方法,在知道两个数据点的时候,做一条直线,就象这样:

这张图说明什么呢?对于有的人来说,多隔一层关系,就少一份信任。

不过对于有的人来说,朋友的朋友的朋友的朋友的朋友的朋友其实跟朋友的朋友的朋友的朋友的朋友差不多,都是陌生人,那么对于他们,下面这种指数递减的曲线更合适:

对于接近这种曲线的人来说,朋友的朋友,就离陌生人不远了。

我相信这个指数递减的曲线更符合信任的传递关系。这里我们需要先定义一下信任度。我对信任度的定义是:我们对朋友的话,选择相信还是不信的概率。通俗的说:我们对自己的话是100%相信的;如果我们对朋友信任度是80%,那么朋友的100句话,我们只相信80句。

那么假设人对朋友的信任度平均值是μ,一个人A有朋友B,B有朋友C。C说100句话,B只信任μ * 100句,假设B把这些话转述给A,那么A只相信100 * μ²句。如果你相信我的这个说法的话,那么社交网络的信任度,就是随着分隔度数的增加,而指数递减的。

μ很难确定,不同的人对朋友的信任度不同,一个人对不同的朋友的信任度也不同。这里我们取一个平均值:½。就可以得到上面这张图。

看看这张图吧,我们对于朋友的朋友的说法,只相信¼,而对于朋友的朋友的朋友的话,10句里面只相信一句而已。

假如某个社交网站希望用朋友之间的关系来推广商品的话,那么很不幸,朋友的朋友说的话,未必有社会上广泛承认的专家说的话更有效果。

信任,就是如此的脆弱。

December 10, 2008

看来这个blog的读者里面,还是关注创业的比较多。那咱们就接着说facebook。

Kay说facebook更接近通讯录,那么为什么MSN messenger不赚钱?meebo不赚钱?我的看法:facebook的最大卖点,是以现实世界的等级为基础的,对用户进行分级的网络实名制。

通讯录大家都有,但是facebook能够知道,哪个用户是大公司的白领,哪个用户是政府雇员,哪个用户是名牌大学的学生。你想进入白领圈子吗?那么请你拿出你的身份证吧,你有大公司的email地址吗?有就请进,没有?一边凉快去。

但是仅仅有了真实的身份还不够,facebook更想知道的,应该是用户的行为。有了这种数据,就可以分析用户的喜好,并进行相应的处理,比如精确广告投放等。所以那么多的公司和组织在企图获取用户的网络身份,把用户在网络上走的每一步就记录下来,比如M$ passport,比如openID,比如google account,再比如facebook connect,这个facebook最近的豪赌。

这些应用的共同点,就是提供第三方的身份验证。当你访问某个网站的时候,某个网络巨头就知道你出现在长尾的某个地段,然后把你的喜好记录下来。但是,这种第三方的身份验证,从根本上就有问题。换句话说,我对facebook connect的成功,很怀疑。

为什么这么说呢?因为网络身份验证,是用户和网站双方的事情,一旦有第三方介入,事情就复杂了。这么说吧,你回家,拿钥匙开门,这是你和家之间双方的事情:你用钥匙来证明你是家的主人;你到了单位上班,换一把钥匙开单位的门。如果单位的钥匙丢了,换一把锁就是了。

但是如果你的单位的门和家里的门,还有你的车,你银行里的保险柜,用的都是同一把钥匙呢?那我就去拿个盒子来,对你说:你知道么?我这个盒子里,有免费的毛片。想看吗?拿你那个唯一的钥匙来开吧。哦对了,我这个盒子里,还能告诉你,谁在MSN上block了你;放心吧,我们跟MSN,跟facebook,都是合作伙伴。

December 9, 2008

最近facebook的托儿到处都是,看到最多的论据是:cnn怎么赚钱,facebook就怎么赚钱。还有人说,反正人多肯定就会有生意。

但是同样的论据也可以反过来说。比如:BBS怎么不赚钱,facebook就怎么不赚钱;或者说,酱油店人多,但是酱油店也就是赚点酱油钱。

Facebook的粉丝们肯定不乐意了:我们facebook是实名制呀,我们facebook是有魔力的SNS呀。

我这里先问一个问题:google是怎么赚钱的?

“广告!”我听见有人大喊。但是CCAV也有广告,新浪也有广告,天涯也有广告,为什么他们都没有google成功?

“因为google流量大”我又听见有人说。但是google adword是要点击才能给google带来收入,CCAV他们的广告,把我眼睛闪花了就能带来收入,为什么google的用户就愿意去点呢?点击不是比什么都不干还麻烦么?一万个CCAV的用户,都能给CCAV带来收入,一万个google用户,只有10个愿意去点广告,为什么google还那么有钱?

这里面,有个用户心理的问题。

Google的用户是来搜索的,搜索的用户,有很多是上网买东西的,搜索是为了找到更便宜的,或者更合适的东西。而adword根据用户的兴趣,提供的相关广告,其实对用户来说,也是搜索的结果。所以用户愿意去点击。另外,由于google的努力,google的用户倾向于信任google的结果,所以google的用户愿意去查看adword的内容,从而为google带来收入。

而facebook呢?上facebook的用户,有多少是去找东西买的?有多少是信任facebook的?Facebook那么烂的响应速度,那么廉价的界面,facebook提供的广告有多少人愿意信任?

那么,facebook上的朋友提供的广告或者推荐,用户会去看吗?用户在对某种产品或者服务不了解的时候,是更信任专家的话,还是更信任整天跟自己混的朋友的话?

所以说,facebook的用户从一开始,就不是带着购买的欲望来的;另外,facebook的朋友关系,也不能满足对用户对商品信息的需求。Facebook有流量,但是这种流量是低质量的流量,虽然由于实名制的因素,这种流量质量比BBS要高,但是未必有email的质量高。

Email赚钱么?

//出差带的笔记本居然不能装中文,只好连回美国去写中文。苦笑

October 31, 2008

和一个keso的“东拉西扯:Facebook会是下一个GeoCities吗”,嗯,其实是唱个反调。

对于实名制的社交网络,我更看好LinkedIn。原因很简单:

  1. 用户使用网站的单一性。你看我们用网站,都是只用其最突出的一个功能。上LinkedIn就是去找工作的,所以要实名,要找人脉,由此带来的负面影响,比如势利,我也认了。非死不可这种泛社交网站,重点不突出。
  2. 非死不可的实名制带来的势利让我受不了。连我都受不了,更别说别人了。

这种墙内花园的东西,总是圈住了少数,漏掉了多数。换句话说,就是站在了长尾的对立面。要我说,要发掘社交关系,不是在这种单个的网站里发掘,而要在现存的网络里,寻找隐含的社交关系。